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Thursday, February 4, 2016

#Romance is in the Air #Giveaway Hop

24 comments:

Welcome to my stop on the Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop hosted by the fantastic Mary @ Book Hounds! I am very particular about what romance I read, so today I want to share two of my recent favorites.

What You Can Win

I loved both of these books, though I've only reviewed one of them so far. If you click on the cover, you can find more out about the book!


Giveaway

Terms & Conditions Found on Rafflecopter Form
INTERNATIONAL!
Ends at 12:01am CST on February 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You're also welcome to enter my other giveaways while you're here, which are found on my right sidebar. Thanks for stopping by, and happy hopping!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours #BibPleaseReview

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Title: The Great Hunt (The Great Hunt #1)
Author:
Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.

When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger—she was meant to marry for love—until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there’s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton’s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the secrets he’s buried begin to surface against his wishes.


My Review

Here I come sighing and dragging my feet. I've been having some terrible reading luck here lately (I haven't even bothered reviewing some so far), and The Great Hunt was pretty meh for me, too.

I love fairy tale retellings or anything similar to a fairy tale, to be honest, so The Great Hunt should have worked for me. My heart and attention span was there for the taking. It started well enough. I liked the royal children, I liked the fact that everyone was ginger (I'm partial as I am one myself), and who doesn't like a smoldering, brooding hero? Then it's like nothing really happened.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Blog Tour (Review): Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn #yalit #giveaway #excerpt @GriffinTeen @laurellizabeth

4 comments:
Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the Firsts blog tour - which is out now! Today, I'll be featuring an excerpt, my review, and there's also a giveaway of the book!



Title: Firsts
Author:
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Release Date: January 5, 2016

In the vein of Easy A, an honest and refreshing young adult novel about sex, love, and high school.

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time-the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy - so far. Her mother isn't home nearly enough to know about Mercedes' extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won't even say the word "sex" until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn't bank on Angela's boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn - or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes' perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her own reputation -and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.



Excerpt

Tonight, I’m doing Evan Brown’s girlfriend a favor. An awkward, sweaty, fumbling favor. Melanie, or whatever her name is, owes me big time.

Except she’ll never know it.

***

“You’re not staying over,” I say, fastening the robe around my waist. “You’ll get there. Girls care less about that than you think. Especially in the beginning. You can work up to it together.”

He grins. He looks different, more handsome somehow. In the softer light, his pimples aren’t as evident and his jawline seems more pronounced. One day, I think Evan Brown could even be a heartbreaker.

But that day isn’t today.

I glance at the clock on my nightstand. Eleven p.m. on a Tues- day. “It’s a school night, Evan. Time for you to go. Your mother will wonder where you are.” Or I assume she would. Most mothers do. Not mine, of course.

His grin turns into a frown. “Do I, you know, owe you some- thing? I don’t know how this works . . .” His voice trails off.

“You don’t owe me anything. Just be good to her, okay? Re- member everything we talked about.”

I know he will. He even took notes. Open her car door for her. Bring her flowers, not something generic like roses but her actual favorite flowers. Have dinner reservations in advance, not necessarily somewhere fancy but somewhere meaningful, like where you had your first kiss or where you realized you loved her. Kiss her, not just on her lips but in unexpected places. On the nape of her neck. On her forehead. On her wrist. Push her hair behind her ears gently. Take a picture. She’ll want to remember the night.

I swallow against a lump that has risen up suddenly in my throat. It’s not that Evan is different—he’s a nice guy, a kid who loves his girlfriend and wants to please her. Maybe I’m the one who’s different. Maybe this speech is starting to feel too familiar. I told myself five favors for five deserving virgins. Five was the line I drew in the sand, and I trampled over it like it wasn’t even there. Evan is the tenth, and ten is a line I can’t just trample past.

But I’m certainly not going to get into this with Evan, so I put on a fake smile. I gesture around the room at the chaise lounge and walk-in closet and floor-to-ceiling shoe rack. “Besides, I really don’t need your money. Spend it on Melody.”

He pulls his boxers and pants back on. His movements are more measured, not the bumbling, terrified movements of the Evan Brown who entered my bedroom an hour ago. Even his voice seems deeper, like he came here a boy and is leaving as a man. I suppose that’s not far from the truth. I allow myself a little smile, a real one this time. It’s easy to reaffirm what I do. What happened to Evan in my bedroom will change him, make him into a more consider- ate lover, even a better boyfriend. Moments like these are what made that line in the sand so easy to obliterate.

Moments like these, I could see an eleventh, even though I promised myself that’s not going to happen. I’m starting the second half of senior year with all of my good karma already under my belt.

“I don’t know where you came from, but you saved my life, Mercy. I mean, Mercedes. I don’t know what I would’ve done with- out you.”

“You would’ve ripped five condoms by accident, and you might’ve drowned the girl in saliva. But now, you’re going to nail it. Literally.”

He tugs his shirt over his head. “When Gus told me how you helped him, I didn’t believe it. But he was right—you’re an angel.” He pauses. “But can I ask you—”

I cut him off midsentence. “No, you can’t. Don’t spoil it.” “But you didn’t even let me finish,” he protests.

“Oh, I let you finish,” I say. “The one thing you can do for me is not ask me any questions.”

He nods. “Fair enough.” “Goodnight, Evan,” I say.

“Goodnight, Mercy. Uh, Mercedes.” He gets to my bedroom door and pauses with his hand on the doorknob.

“This won’t be awkward at school tomorrow, will it?” he says, looking back at me.

“Of course not,” I say, folding my arms over my chest. “It’s not going to be awkward at all, because what happened in this room becomes just a figment of your imagination the second you walk out that door.”

He gives me a tight-lipped smile and pulls the door shut after him. I can see his shoes underneath, can tell he’s lingering there, wondering if he said too much or not enough, not entirely convinced that his secret is safe with me.

But he has nothing to worry about. His secret, like those of nine of his fellow seniors, is safe with me. At Milton High, I’m my own statistic. People fail to see the great equalizer, the one thing the band geeks, the drama nerds, the jocks, and the preppies all have in common.

Me—Mercedes Ayres.

The girl who took their virginity.

My Review

I can honestly say that I don't read many books about teenagers having sex, but Firsts had an interesting premise, and I was curious about how the whole thing would be executed. Firsts gives teens a realistic look at sex, relationships, and the responsibility that comes with both.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh #yalit #scifi #BibPleaseReview

1 comment:


Title: Burning Midnight
Author:
Will McIntosh
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Acquired Via: Publisher

For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.


My Review

I'll be honest with you - I have no idea why I requested Burning Midnight. I don't even remember requesting it. (Granted, I'm the sort of person who has to write notes for everything or it won't get done. Period.) I just found a note on my calendar saying that I needed to read it and my review was due today. It was already on my Kindle, so I went along with it.

I am so glad that I did.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Blog Tour (Interview): The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones #giveaway @darynda @StMartinsPress

8 comments:

Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the The Dirt on Ninth Grave blog tour - which is out TOMORROW! Today, I'll be featuring an exclusive interview with Darynda Jones, and there's also a giveaway of the book!



Title: The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson #9)
Author:
Darynda Jones
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
Release Date: January 12, 2016

In a small village in New York Charley Davidson is living as Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her-even from her new and trusted friends-the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.


Author Interview

Kayla: Hi, Darynda! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to interview you. You have a lot of fans here at Bibliophilia, Please. Do you mind telling us a little bit about your Charley Davidson series and newest book, The Dirt on Ninth Grave?

Darynda Jones: I’d love to! Charley Davidson is a female PI who was born the grim reaper. In every story, she solves a case for a living client and one for a departed, not to mention all the side cases thrown in for good measure. The books are packed with lots of mystery and lots of sexiness in the form of our love interest, Reyes Farrow. He has daddy issues (mostly because his father is public enemy number one in both the tangible realm and the supernatural one), but that’s another story.

In Ninth Grave, Charley has lost her memory due to a traumatic event (involving Reyes’s dad, no less), and we find her working at a diner in Sleepy Hollow, NY, where she has her whole brood looking out for her. She just doesn't know it’s HER brood. Trust is coming hard for her, especially since she can see into the supernatural realm but has no idea why. And when one of her regulars is cloaked in shadows and fire, she’s both scared and intrigued by him.

This book was so fun to write because it is almost like starting over. Charley gets to learn to trust her closest friends once again and fall in love with Reyes all over again, once she can get past his brooding darkness.

Kayla: You’ve been working on this series for quite a while. How have you changed as a writer since you wrote the first book in the series and debut novel, First Grave on the Right?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Early Review: In Real Life by Jessica Love #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours #BibPleaseReview

2 comments:


Title: In Real Life
Author:
Jessica Love
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.


My Review

Contemporary novels aren't my first choice when looking for review books, but sometimes I'm pulled in by a concept. In Real Life is an example of this. I grew up in the 90s & 00s when online friendships and relationships were new creatures, and I've traveled the spectrum personally. I read In Real Life to glimpse the online awkwardness through the eyes of the next generation.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood #BibPleaseReview #scifi #yalit @RP_Kids

1 comment:


Title: Inherit the Stars (Inherit the Stars #1)
Author:
Tessa Elwood
Publisher: Running Press (Perseus)
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Acquired Via: Publisher

Three royal Houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the House of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She attempts to save her family’s livelihood by posing as her older sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the House of Westlet, only to threaten their already precarious balance. All the while, she must save the life of her other sister...possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?


My Review

Since there needs to be more young adult science fiction floating around in the world, I jumped at the chance to read Inherit the Stars and share my thoughts with you guys. The story is about a young girl, Asa, who would do anything for her sister, Wren and gets in trouble doing so.

Asa is a different heroine than what I've been reading about lately in YA. She's not some tough-as-nails, clever badass. She's just a young girl who loves her family and does almost everything in the novel for their benefit. One of her sisters is nearly killed very early in the book, and Asa does everything in her power to get Wren better. You see, Wren is a pretty integral part of the development of the new energy source, in addition to being Asa's favorite sister. Unfortunately, whenever Asa steps in to make something better or save the day, she usually makes everything worse.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine @simonteen #pulseit

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Title: The Impostor Queen
Author:
Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Acquired Via:
Publisher

The elders chose Elli to be queen, but they chose wrong in this beautifully crafted novel in the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Victoria Aveyard.

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.


My Review

You guys are in for a treat in January. I read The Impostor Queen when I was being a bad reviewer and should have been reading something else. Be warned: not only did I disregard the book that I was supposed to be reading, I was also reading this book any time I had a free moment to look down at my phone or iPad. It is that good.